MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



10 APRIL 2024

Monday, August 31, 2020

Yes to PM’s RM1k welfare aid idea, but extend loan moratorium too - DAP


They may not like the manner in which it was announced but the DAP has expressed support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s suggestion that the monthly Social Welfare aid be raised to RM1,000.
However, the party called on the government to extend the loan moratorium and said another multi-billion ringgit stimulus package was needed to save Malaysian livelihood.
In a statement, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the aid increase proposal, made during the premier’s two-day visit to Sabah yesterday, would benefit the low-income group.
Even so, he accused Muhyiddin, his former ally in Pakatan Harapan prior to the latter’s exit, of engaging in politicking for the upcoming Sabah state polls, slated for Sept 26.
“Even though this increase is part of the prime minister’s political calculations for the Sabah state elections, DAP expresses support for such a proposal to help those financially needy, especially from the B40.
“DAP supports the increase in social welfare monthly aid to RM1,000 as part of the strategic shift in the government’s financial focus from managing the government debts prudently to borrowing more money to inject funds to save Malaysian livelihood, jobs and businesses,” Lim said in a statement today.
The former finance minister said the number of recipients of the aid is expected to double from 500,000 in 2018 due to the current Covid-19 climate which resulted in a higher unemployment rate of 4.9 percent in June.
“This would bring up the cost of increasing social welfare aid of RM1,000 monthly to a yearly sum of RM12 billion,” he said.
For the record, the June unemployment rate was slightly lower than that in May, which was at a record high of 5.3 percent.
Lim added that while the previous government focused on managing the country’s debts, the new government should shift to a “more strategic financial focus” of borrowing more money to lift the country out of recession.
The Perikatan Nasional government recently tabled the Temporary Measures for Government Financing (Covid-19) Bill 2020 in Parliament earlier this month.
It sought to raise the national statutory debt limit from 55 percent to 60 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) to "accommodate additional borrowings" to finance economic packages related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, Lim reiterated his call for the government to extend the moratorium on bank loans by another six months and urged them to increase funding for an additional economic stimulus package to further save jobs.
He said: “Such a moratorium extension, whether borne by the banks of the government, will help a larger number of eight million Malaysians and companies.”
“Extending the recovery movement control order (MCO) until Dec 31 will bring about the adverse economic impact and should be accompanied by another economic stimulus package of RM45 billion fund injection.”
Lim had previously stated that allowing the loan moratorium to expire as planned on Sept 30 could cause businesses to collapse and the unemployment rate to rise again. - Mkini

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